The learning of attitude in national competency-based training frameworks in Australia and Singapore

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    Attitudes are required along with Knowledge and Skills in the achievement of competency for the effective performance of tasks. Both the training sector of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) employ Competency-Based Training (CBT) as the main pedagogical approach to training. Competencies are specified as performance requirements within Competency Standards (CS) that strictly frame and guide training and assessment. Therefore, if any of the components of Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes are not articulated in the CS, they are not taught, leading to incomplete or unsuccessful achievement of actual work competency.

    This study was initiated based on observations that the specification of Attitudes appears to be neglected in CS documents in the AQF and WSQ. It is logical to assume that if attitudes are not meaningfully specified then workers completing training would not be ‘fully’ competent due to the lack of ‘right’ attitudes that employers value highly. Workers with wrong attitudes would negatively impact their workplace productivity and the economy, and their own long-term employability. Therefore, this study sets out to examine how Attitudes have been incorporated into CS in the AQF and WSQ to determine if Attitudes have indeed been neglected. A literature review to inform the research was carried out into three areas: (1) Attitudes, (2)policies and guidelines on Attitudes in CS, and (3) the teaching, learning and assessment of Attitudes and affects. Two sectors were selected for examination– healthcare and security. Document analysis was selected as the most suitable research method given the resources available. CS documents were the main data source analysed for any articulation of Attitudes. Other documents analysed included industry codes of practice, and relevant literature.

    The findings revealed that Attitudes were not explicitly articulated in the CS documents analysed. However, ‘Employability Skills’ and behaviours were mentioned in some instances that could imply associated attitudes which is insufficient to enable practitioners such as courseware developers, trainers and assessors to clearly interpret the correct attitudes required for training. Despite the absence of articulation of Attitudes in performance statements, possible associated attitude requirements could be interpreted. Therefore, teaching only those implied associated attitudes mentioned above may be incomplete in view of all those possible associated attitudes. The findings also revealed that although many of the attitude requirements between the healthcare and security sectors were common, there were differences due to the nature of the work. Therefore, teaching generic attitudes separate from performance requirements may not be feasible. In fact, discussions supported by the literature on attitudes inferred that teaching attitudes directly linked to performance tasks may lead to more consistent attitudes than teaching the same attitude in a broader (generic) sense.

    In view of the lack of meaningful articulation of Attitudes in CS, although workers may be assessed to be competent (based on CS) at the end of training courses, they are likely to face competency gaps with respect to attitudes at the workplace. The status quo implies a failure of the current CBT model to deliver ‘fully’ competent work-ready trainees. This study has afforded recommendations for further research to improve how Attitudes may be incorporated into the current CBT model.

    Date of AwardApr 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorGreg Shaw (Supervisor)

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